AU criticises ICC over Kenya cases at UN meeting

The International Criminal Court “has degenerated into a political instrument targeting Africa and was adversely affecting” Kenya, African Union chairman Hailemariam Desalegn has said.

The AU chair, who is also Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, said Kenya should be allowed to investigate and prosecute the cases under a reformed judiciary provided for in the country’s new Constitution.

“We believe it is very critical to support the peace building and national reconciliation processes in the country,” he said in a speech at the United Nations Assembly.

Mr Hailemariam’s attack on the ICC’s handling of the Kenya cases is the second launched by an African leader at the UN in the past 24 hours.

Ugandan Head of State Yoweri Museveni also criticised the ICC’s role in Kenya and Africa in a speech on Tuesday.

The ICC’s recent refusal to permit the trials of President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto to take place in Kenya is “unhelpful,” Mr Hailemariam said.

He suggested that the ICC’s insistence on holding the trials in The Hague is adversely affecting the ability of the Kenyan leaders to discharge their constitutional responsibilities.

He noted that the UN has given no response to the AU’s request for a deferral of the ICC prosecutions of Kenyans. Mr Hailemariam concluded his remarks by again urging the UN Security Council to respond to the request.-nation.co.ke

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